Cattle Market Notes – Week of Mar 2, 2012

Cash Cattle:
Cash fed cattle trade was higher this week across major feeding regions.  In Texas/Oklahoma and Kansas, live sales were at $130/cwt. Nebraska live and dressed cattle were at $129-$130/cwt and $205/cwt, respectively.  In Oklahoma City, feeder steers and heifers were steady to $2/cwt lower, calves were steady.  Feeder steers were mixed and heifers were steady in Mississippi markets. Mississippi cull cows and bulls were $1-$2/cwt higher.

Nearby live futures were mostly steady this week. Last week’s Cattle on Feed report was expected to give cattle markets a bullish tone to start the week and for a few hours on Monday that happened. Weak equity markets, a stronger U.S. dollar, and demand concerns in the face of rising oil prices managed to pull the rug out from under the positive sentiment by lunchtime on Monday and pushed prices lower. Higher corn prices kept the market under pressure Tuesday but Wednesday brought about a strong turn-a-round as cash trade began to develop at higher prices and boxed beef improved. The positive traction continued Thursday but ended Friday and brought prices in-line with the prior week’s settlement.

Corn futures were higher on the week. Corn markets were feeling the heat of Monday’s negative news but managed to shake it off as soybean prices improved (an attempt by corn to not lose any acres to soybeans). Weather concerns in Argentina and Brazil the took center stage and helped bring prices much higher on Tuesday.

Wholesale beef prices were higher again this week.  Gains for boxed beef were lower than last week but prices remained strong. Choice finished the week at $198.51/cwt, up $3.09 from last week.  Select ended the week at $194.56/cwt, up $2.85.


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